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Slide plans for St James' Park, Newcastle
TOON fans may hope their fortunes aren't on the slide - unlike they might be if unusual 'transport' proposals get the go ahead.
For two "travel accelerators" could be installed outside St James' Park, Newcastle, to help propel supporters away from the ground that bit quicker.
The slides, the first of their kind in the UK, will allow some of the 53,000 matchgoers to avoid having to tackle a long flight of steps and instead 'chute' down to the stadium’s car park or Metro station below.
The plans were met with incredulity by fans, but they welcomed the novelty as a bit of fun.
The business improvement district company NE1 Ltd, which has submitted plans to Newcastle City Council, said similar slides are used by commuters at the railway station in Utrecht, Holland.
The slides are the latest idea in NE1’s award-winning pocket park programme, designed to infuse new life into areas of Newcastle city centre.
The company said it has worked closely with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and with police crime prevention design specialists Consultancy to ensure it is safe.
Adrian Waddell, NE1’s director of operations said: “The slides are intended to inject some fun into the city centre and take their inspiration from Holland where slides have been installed in a busy railway station to speed up access to train platforms and to inject new life into an area.
“NE1’s slides, like the rest of our pocket parks, are designed to attract attention and get people talking.”
Mark Jensen, editor of Newcastle United fanzine The Mag said: “I think most people’s first reaction will be to think 'how bizarre'.
“I’m sure some people will be wondering if the money could be better spent, but I am all for innovative things in Newcastle. I imagine the cost will be nominal.
“There is a fun element to it. It will give people a laugh and what value to you put on that?”
The slides have been designed by Newcastle-based Robinson Landscape Design. Tom Robinson said "Being playful and soing something a little unusual aims to encourage people to spend more time here enjoying the city.
"We want people to ride the slide, then go up the stairs and do it again."
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